Ghostbusters: Afterlife


For a while there, I thought Jason Reitman had broken his dad Ivan’s curse of forever trying (and failing) to recreate the wonder and fun of the 1984 game-changing Ghostbusters. Descendants of one of the original GBs arrive in a small town after the death of dad/grandpa and begin to discover some odd things he had left behind. They investigate.

It looked like Jason had successfully transplanted the whoyagonnacall formula into a kids’ version, offering new characters while maintaining a nice 80s aesthetic. In this he is helped greatly by an excellent cast led by young Mckenna Grace, memorable in 2017’s Gifted, and the likeable charm of Paul Rudd. 

But in the second half it morphs into a nostalgia-fest, throwing in every possible wink, cameo, spook cameo and, yes, vehicle, and amping up the requisite no-longer-so-special effects, not to mention some forced father-issues. Nostalgia is fine, even entertaining to a point, but this film loses sight of why we loved the first film so. By the time the aging cavalry arrives (I won’t say who, but it’s not hard to guess), it’s too late. (124 min)